The Dream of Albion is an AU based upon my story Stealing servants, stealing hearts but you don't have to read it, chapter 1 will explain the state the world is in.
This is not a rewrite of season 2 although some elements from that season do return. This fanfic will start out with Merlin and Arthur adventuring in which, with each chapter, Morgana becomes increasingly important and turning this into a Merlin/Morgana centred adventure story. Most people get what they deserve but still not without risks.
The moment in time is between The Once and Future Queen and The Nightmare Begins, the latter does not happen.
With a romance story as prequel, this introductory chapter is rather fluffy and perhaps a bit boring but the rest is more action packed.
Remains of the day
Merlin had admitted to Morgana he loved her and, just a few hours ago, that he had magic. It was a difficult choice to make and even now, sitting together in her room, the shock of it was still settling in. But telling her he had magic wasn't as difficult as the future would be, for what was the future? He had never been in a relationship before. It was scary and daunting but he trusted her with his life and his heart, that was all he could give her. There were still questions that needed answering and Morgana seemed, for the lack of a better word, excited being able to ask them. She refrained from asking random questions and instead looked at the past they shared.
"Your friend, Will, was he really a sorcerer?" It was one of the more recent things she remembered and now knowing Merlin was a sorcerer made her doubt Will's words. Merlin shook his head at the memory of his friend's death, he was the first to have made such a sacrifice for him.
"Who else knows you're a sorcerer?" She asked.
"Mother and Gaius. I never told anyone, everyone always found out." He answered. There was another who knew, Lancelot, but that had slipped his mind completely.
"I'm the first you've told?" Morgana asked confused, it seemed so unlikely it would be like that, that there was no one else he trusted enough to tell himself.
"Yes." Merlin spoke plainly. Oddly enough it was something he took pride in, hiding has secret was a burden and Morgana being there and accepting who he was took away a lot of the pressure.
"Not that I doubt you but... could you show me?" Morgana asked a bit shy trying not to hurt his feelings. Merlin merely chuckled, it was true he hadn't shown her anything yet and thus far it had only been words. He reached out to an unlit candlestick and cast the incantation. The candlestick slowly flew into the palms of his hand for him to grab it. As he took it and put it on the table he saw Morgana showing a slight smile, was she enjoying this?
"Would you like to see more?" Merlin asked. Morgana's smile widened and she nodded, she was enjoying it. The warlock put his hand against each other as if he had caught a ladybug and whispered a spell. He slowly removed his top hand to reveal a small flame dancing in the palm of his hand. Hearing the door handle Merlin quickly closed his hand, instantly dispelling the flame.
Entering the room was Gwen, who had helped Merlin decide whether or not to tell Morgana about his magic but that didn't mean she knew as well. Gaius almost knew less than Gwen, he knew of Merlin's magic but not about his relationship with Morgana and neither that he told her of his magic. The two looked at Gwen just as shocked as she looked at them.
"I should start knocking again, shouldn't I?" Gwen asked grinning like an idiot. Merlin and Morgana sitting so close together and looking so guilty seemed like a good thing to her.
"Yes." The couple answered in unison and Gwen's grin grew even wider.
"Why aren't you with Arthur?" Morgana asked curiously, usually she woulnd't pass up any opportunity to be with him.
"The King wanted to speak with his son in private." Gwen regrettably informed them.
"He does that." Merlin said, but what was meant as an idle comment had instead brought both women's eyes upon him.
"What do they talk about?" Gwen asked intensely, if this was going to happen on a regular basis then she would need to know these things.
"No idea." He lied believably for once. Uther and Arthur talked about all sorts of things, from arranged marriages to his father's memories of his mother.
"Also, Arthur wanted to talk with you, I think he's angry with you."
"He always is. You go on ahead, I won't be long."
Gwen nodded with a cheeky smile and left.
Merlin rubbed his face. If Gwen hadn't known about his relationship with Morgana then things would've become very awkward and even more complicated.
"That was close." Morgana sighed.
"Welcome to my life." He smiled. But looking into his eyes she saw the pain, sadness and fear hidden underneath. Only now did she truly realise and understand what Merlin must have been going through since his arrival in Camelot. She believed many of his clumsy and awkward moments in the past were him trying to cover up his magic. He had been protecting Arthur with his life even though, at least at the beginning, he might've have him executed just for being who he was. He was more than a man, more than just a sorcerer, even greater than the King for he was the better man.
"I am, aren't I?" Morgana pressed her lips upon his again to take his mind off things. Breaking away from each other she could see Merlin was blushing, all this was still quite new to him as it had been only today they agreed to be a couple.
"Always saving the world and yet so shy around women." Morgana teased him.
"That's because you're not just any woman." Merlin replied.
"And don't you forget it."
Gwen went back to Arthur and tidied his bed, again, she had done it in the earlier that day but they had messed it up later that morning.
"How was your talk with your father?" She asked.
"Fine." Arthur replied completely uninterested or bored of it.
"What did you talk about?" Gwen asked.
"Matters of state, not very interesting." Arthur replied. Already Gwen could feel a wall of secrecy between them. Merlin said he didn't know, probably because he didn't believe this little lie either.
"You're not hiding anything from me, are you?" Gwen asked slightly concerned.
"Only what's beneath these clothes." Arthur tried to steer away from the topic. "Unless you've peeked." He added.
"Arthur!" She warned him playfully, he was in a reasonable good mood and for the sake of keeping it that way she slyly added "Don't tempt me." The Prince grinned at her clever remark. As with Merlin, he was a bit of a bad influence on her and she a good one on him. He sometimes told her things, matters of state, to test her. Surprisingly she usually had a good point of view on it. He was not, however, completely convinced all of it was really her and not a few tricks she learned from Morgana. But today he and his father hadn't actually talked matters of state and so he kept quiet.
Gwen knew he might be testing her with political questions, a rare few with moral ambiguity, and such but she wasn't quite sure yet. Her answers never led to discussions which begged the question, did she answer right or wrong? Then Merlin entered the room and immediately received a raised eyebrow from Arthur.
"Where have you been?" The Prince asked, almost demanding and reprimanding.
"Helping Morgana." Merlin spoke as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"You spend an awful lot of time with her, you know?" Arthur's tone of voice had changed completely. Instead of angry or displeased he sounded a bit concerned.
"And you don't know why?" Merlin stated confused, much to Arthur's annoyance the manservant once again let on he thought it rather obvious
"Enlighten me." The annoyed Prince replied. Merlin merely turned his head towards Gwen and already the Prince cleared his throat in discomfort.
"The King is bound to send you and the knights to investigate something soon enough, you'll have me all to yourself." He taunted him.
"Just serve Morgana for the rest of the day, alright?" And Arthur thought that would settle the matter only Merlin chose to disagree. He couldn't outright agree with him and begin skipping down the corridor, that would be suspicious.
"As much as I'd like to get away from you, I don't think she'll agree." Merlin argued.
"Why not?" This took the Prince's full attentions though it remained unclear why, whether it was for his and Gwen's sake or that of Morgana.
"Well, we're running out of things to talk about." Merlin explained. Gwen snickered at his statement knowing there would be little talking regardless, and decided to cover it up with a cough. Merlin caught on and knew Arthur really was a bad influence on her.
"Then convince her or I'll make sure you'll have plenty to talk about tomorrow, most importantly how you mucked out the stables." The royal pratness had come to the surface once more but Merlin knew Arthur needed the tug of war he had grown accustomed to.
"Fine." Merlin sighed more out of his hidden desire for Morgana than for anything else.
Morgana was surprised when Merlin entered her room again, without knocking as well.
"Back already?" She asked.
"Refer to Gwen, refuse once and wait for him to threaten you. Is this how you usually fool him?" Merlin asked.
"Somewhere along those lines, yes." Morgana admitted.
Merlin grinned, Morgana had given him a few pointers on fooling Arthur so he wouldn't arouse suspicion. Arthur wasn't an idiot but with the right words he could be fooled quite easily, a skill Morgana had honed over many years of bickering.
"You've got me for the rest of the day." Merlin mused.
"I've got a dress that needs mending but I've got different chores for you." She spoke seductively.
"Which dress?" Merlin said as he moved towards her wardrobe. Morgana tutted, he had pulled her head from the clouds as this wasn't the chore she had in mind for him at all. This had to be one of the things she didn't like about Merlin, business before pleasure.
"The blue one but Gwen can do it." Morgana argued but Merlin was already going through her dresses and pulled it out. Morgana nodded a bit annoyed and he laid it out on the bed.
"Right sleeve." Morgana spoke annoyed, Merlin was supposed to be doing something more important than looking at a dress he wouldn't be mending anyway. Merlin beckoned her to come closer and, even more annoyed, she strutted over to him.
"Gestrice slite" He chanted and she saw the two edges move together and merge as if it had never been torn at all.
Morgana grinned. Such was Merlin, surprising and inimitable.
"Show-off." She said as she poked him with her elbow.
"Now," Merlin said as he hung the dress back in the wardrobe and turned back to Morgana. "what were these other chores you were talking about?"
Merlin manipulating the Prince, and you thought Arthur was a bad influence. :P
So much for the fluffy introductory chapter. The next one is action/adventure, plain and simple.
"Gestrice slite" - "mend tear"